Regular Poem: Femme Fatale BTS

16 Apr

She walked into my office a few minutes past closing
and a few hours past my being sober.
Even through the whiskey, I could see
she was all sharp angles and soft skin;
there was a secret on her red lips that was
different from the secrets in her red head.

“I don’t usually take new clients this late in the day,” I said.
“And I don’t negotiate. Ever. You either
agree to take my case or you don’t,” she said, her voice a hiss of steam from
the radiator of her mouth

a mouth I very much wanted to tap on,
make hiss more.

xxx

Thursday
case local cut-rate gumshoes’ offices
assess for degree of misogyny, alcoholism, impulsivity, receptiveness to feminine wilesspreadsheet?

Friday
buy new red lipstickmatte, long-wear
have mourning dress altered to specs of chosen detective
buy eye drops

Saturday
kill husband
hide and obfuscate evidence

Sunday
apply eyedrops before cops arrive for questioning about dead husband
assess detectives for degree of misogyny, alcoholism, impulsivity, receptiveness to feminine wilesspreadsheet?

Monday
rest day
hole up, pretend to grieve
brainstorm ways to pit police detectives against private detective
yard workallergic reaction will make voice husky and sexy tomorrow

Tuesday
use eyedrops again
chain smoke in case allergic reaction to yard work hasn’t made voice husky and sexy enough
SEDUCE SEDUCE SEDUCE

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Regular Poem: On Brand

15 Apr

spring al
is all about
convertible cruising
weedeating but not mowing
ripping up rosebushes
getting caught up in something and waiting too long to eat–making questionable choices when she does finally eat
breaking and fixing dryers

let’s circle back to
weedeating but not mowing
because it’s the most on brand of them all

spring al
summer al
fall al
winter al

it’s emblematic of all-seasons al
to do the part of a chore she enjoys
and procrastinate that which she detests
leave chores half finished
and hate herself for it later
neglect something until it is unmanageable
and then she has to weedeat not only the edges and weird places
but also the entire yard
rendering the thing she liked
a bigger hassle now
than the thing she didn’t like if she’d done the thing she didn’t like
when it was reasonable to do so
it’s the way she applies for jobs
searches for real estate
does laundry
confronts problems
it’s the way she deals with most things

spring al is really quite the little idiot
but at least she’s on brand

Regular Poem: Sympathy’s the Worst

14 Apr

sympathy’s the worst
empathy’s the best
apathy’s acceptable
antipathy’s ok too

is there a word between empathy and apathy
something that means
i feel what you feel
but i don’t care to address the feelings
i’d rather make jokes
and rant about something specific and pedantic
laugh and be angry with you
telepathically convey understanding and love and support
but not offer any solutions
or convey any disappointment that you don’t follow through on solutions you know will work
if you’d just do them

that’s why sympathy’s the worst
it’s close and yet removed
it’s sadness for you
radiating
it has a long half-life
and you feel it days later
loving you but judging you

Regular Poem: Thanks a Lot But I’m Not Even Getting Dressed Today

13 Apr

i don’t have a fitbit
or even an old blue plastic pedometer that attaches with a highly breakable clip to a fanny pack
i don’t have my phone set up to track anything
and good thing too

it’d be just another piece of evidence
as if i need another

the evidence is everywhere
all key passages underlined
pages and pages piled up
littering every surface

but what do you even do with evidence
make a case
argue a point
well i’m not a lawyer
and i’m not writing any papers
i’m not even getting dressed

Regular Poem: Get Over Yourself

12 Apr

i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again
continue to say it and say it
i ought to take my own advice

get over yourself
i say to my audiobook narrator
get over yourself
i say in not those exact words to people i love

get over yourself
i say to myself

and when i do
it’s so rewarding

there’s contentment in it
like a hammock nap
but better
because not only am i relaxed
but i’m also validated
internally externally
the push and pull
of a selfish vain person prone to brooding
who knows she’s right
about the things she’s riling herself up about
but also about
how she should get over herself

she’s selfish and vain but also thoughtful and giving
and when she gets over herself
she can be the best of herself

i ought to take my own advice
for everyone’s sake

Regular Poem: Motives for Weird Behavior

11 Apr

there was this guy in high school
who always opened a bag of skittles
poured them all out and sorted them by color
before he would eat them
i think he had a system for which colors he ate together and a sequence
for when he ate them

at the time
i thought he was doing it for attention
cultivating an eccentricity to appear
interesting and different

he may have been
or he may have been compelled
or he may have thought it was the most logical and enjoyable way to consume them

it was none of my business then
and certainly isn’t now

i’d react a lot differently
now
i think

i might ask him
and he might tell me

i think i asked him then
and he gave some glib unsatisfying answer
and instead of knowing we were both teenage idiots who weren’t fully self-actualized
i didn’t listen and consider with graceful ears
but heard what i didn’t want to hear
and judged according to his teenage idiot words
and my teenage idiot brain

i’d like to think
we could converse more honestly
more thoughtfully
now

but maybe not

i still say a lot of stuff
that people hear wrong
or they hear it right but i’ve said it wrong

mind reading isn’t a thing
and shouldn’t be
but oppenness and forgiveness and
understanding that sometimes you don’t understand
go a long way

and anyway
sometimes people really do just do weird things
for attention

but i’m a pedantic blunt snob
what do i know
about other people’s internal processes that they happen to externalize in front of me

am i acting when i rant
am i performing when i do rage push-ups
am i a different character entirely when i analyze my choices

people think about other people
people think about themselves
people think about other people in relation to themselves

and it’s usually an open question
unresolved but elucidated upon
ad nauseum ad infinitum
to be forgotten and remembered
in fits and starts

the why is what really matters
and yet the why
is so often obscured
either deliberately or accidentally
mutual misunderstanding
and mutual suspicion
there is no grace in our mouths or ears

i want to listen and i want to talk and i want to comprehend
us both
but we’re all
so bad at it

Regular Poem: The No-Bullshit Express

10 Apr

i’ve got three points today
but i’m not sure i can string them together properly
to convince anyone they’re related
take each primary-color bead
pick out shades of complementary secondary colors
knot them all together into an alligator keychain
i only pretend to be crafty
but i’ll try

number one
i’m tired of people
presuming
logic precludes emotion
or vice versa
giving themselves some kind of pass to be this or that kind of jerk

“i’m just too analytical to consider your feelings”
listen you’re not spock and you’re not perfect
and you have emotions too
but you’re sublimating them and refusing to talk about them
and subsequently allowing them to exert themselves at inopportune times

but don’t get cocky
i’m tired of you too you weeping maniac
“i take everything as a personal attack because i’m a feeler”
no one’s implying you’re not a human being with both innate and individual worth
there is no fainting couch for you suck it up and accept that
people have different personalities and opinions
and sometimes other people will say or do something you don’t especially like
or you will misconstrue what they say or do
because of your own particular insecurities

both of you strawmen i only barely embellished and extrapolated from real people i know in real life

are stupid

that’s harsh of me to say
i’ll ammend
both of you are valid and have the right to think the way you think and feel the way you feel
and believe the way you believe these are
black and white right and wrong
dichotomies

but you’re both still not seeing the forest for the trees

logicially you have to respect that people have emotions and make decisions with them
and logically
it would behoove you to be empathetic
people like you better that way
and then they respect you enough
to listen when you suggest logical improvements to systems

and emotionally you have to love
people and understand people
it always feels good to make other people feel good
indulge them in their strengths
and encourage them through their weaknesses

as miranda lambert would say
it takes all kinds of kinds
and she’s right more often than not

number two
i have a clear phone case with pink glitter inside
that sloshes around in its viscous solution
making bubbles and patterns when i shake it
it’s pretty and calming and shiny and stereotypically girly

and everyone who sees me with it
nearly sues me for whiplash when they do their double takes
of flabbergastation
there is a certain type of cognitive dissonance that flashes
across each face
that i find amusing and flabbergasting
in equal measure

it makes perfect sense to me
i like pretty shiny things
and i like to be pretty and shiny myself
i own more
patent leather pumps than anyone i know
more brooches than is reasonable
more lipstick than i know what to do with
my ninth grade english teacher assigned all her students animals as anonymous aliases for when she posted our grades in public spaces
the anonymity was soon nullified because we were all so excited to discuss her reasoning for the assignations
i was peacock
because i was pretty
but also loud territorial and aggressive

i guess these days my glamor and extravagance fade into white noise
at least when viewed in conjunction with or as juxtaposition to
the rest of me

“what phone case would you have me have”
i ask
responses include
“black utilitarian shatterproof”
“skull and cross bones”
“pink but it says ‘badass bitch'”
and perhaps most accurate
“on second thought
this one
because you are a woman who
is full of surprises”

number three
i was driving behind a nondescript full-size van today
it was nondescript insomuch as
it was white with dark windows and no discernible passengers or cargo
but it was a chevrolet express
and it had a small round bumper sticker indistinguishable from afar
but close stopped at a red light
a cartoon rendering of a bovine excreting solid waste with a red slash over the whole thing

the no-bullshit express
visual poetry in so many ways

i instantly wondered what this vehicle’s function was
it was the kind of thing
you usually see delivering
flowers to hospitals
or
a half dozen middle-schoolers to bible camp

but what does the no-bullshit express deliver

truth in some kind of way
obviously

in conclusion
i’ve chosen some beads that i thought looked good together
and arranged them in a way that made sense to me
does it resemble an alligator
i’m tired of assumptions and prescriptions
misunderstandings and miscommunications
willful ignorance and other similar cliches

i’ve got my fare and just a trifle to spare
to board the no-bullshit express

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